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Many of you know …
what it is like to lose a close loved one.
When my family said farewell to my Dad two years ago, we were saying goodbye to a man who knew how to be a husband to my Mother in ways many men miss. Perhaps most striking was his ability to care for Mom in the face of significant adversity.
My mother was critically injured in a horrendous car crash due to a negligent driver and would go on to endure numerous surgeries and rehabs . . living with the consequences for life. She also battled an unimaginable number of allergies that could reduce her to a state of pure exhaustion. She experienced cancer and survived, but not before a radical mastectomy and before a large section of her leg was removed. She also confronted ten-plus years of strokes with all their horrible attacks on the body . . and I could go on.
All of this to say, my Dad was with her and serving her every need through all of this and would never be caught complaining.
Thank God for the rainbow makers in your life today –
they become quickly missed once gone.
David “JB” Miller
In Living Color …
Through many of those trials, my Dad’s sister proved to be the “2nd Mom” that many children never get to experience. My Aunt Shirley was one in a million . . . a woman who exuded grace and made you feel like a million bucks!
Anyone who met Shirley would remember her for a long time. Her “loves” in life were many although she was always a single.
Her “loves” were for things like:
Clocks . . clocks that ticked, chimed with uniqueness
Shirley always had time for others and would never be late because her clocks were set ahead usually by 15 to 20 minutes
Butterflies . . their transformed splendor, their delicate beauty
Like a butterfly, Shirley could transform a room with joy in an instant
Music . . Shirley’s love for gospel and country western was unstoppable
She always seemed to have a song on her heart and your heart would be lighter for being with her
Candles . . wax everywhere, pillars, votives, tapers and more
She loved to light her home with a glow in more ways than one
Tacos . . dinnertime was always a fiesta
Shirley was never one to avoid loads of toppings and her life was full of spice and flavor too
Smiles . . big, generous, inviting, connecting smiles
Hers was unstoppable and would put one on your face quickly
Worship . . Shirley’s soul was open to being stirred by great preaching
She would openly testify of how God touched her heart through a gifted speaker or musician
Put together, while many may be content to live their life in black and white, my Aunt Shirley defined Living Color.
Fuel Supply …
It won’t be long, but sooner or later on this very day, you will pause for a meal and for a beverage that will replenish, nourish and strengthen your physical body. As Shirley discovered, sustaining and thriving in life on both a physical and spiritual level requires regular periods of refreshment, renewal and encouragement . . it is part of our very core-design.
For the past several years, I have made this simple little writing ministry known as “LifeLetter” available to family, friends, colleagues, Bible study and home groups and churches. I draw my inspiration to write out of the way God reveals His presence, His grace, His plan, His design . . in the highs and lows of everyday life at ground zero.
I take to heart the gifts that God has given me and passages such as Philemon 4-5, “I pray that you may be active in sharing your faith, so that you will have a full understanding of every good thing we have in Christ. Your love has given me great joy and encouragement, because you, brother, have refreshed the hearts of the saints.”
With joy I open my heart to you through each and every “LifeLetter” and pray that God is using this ministry to refresh your heart and life. Think of it as one of Shirley’s butterflies or candles . . encouraging words reminding us of the level of care and concern Christ has for us . . only in Him are we renewed in a flawless, unending love in every relationship, every context . . every new day.
You might also take time to thank God for the rainbow makers in your life today . . “refresh-forward” a Life Letter to them while you can . . they become quickly missed once gone. A clock is ticking, a chime is chiming, a song is being sung, a candle burns brightly . . here at Life Letter Cafe . . refreshing any and all with a timely reminder about . . things that count.
May our Lord Jesus Christ himself and God our Father,
who loved us and by his grace gave us
eternal encouragement and good hope,
encourage your hearts and strengthen you
in every good deed and word.
II Thessalonians 2: 16-17
How is God encouraging you today?